Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) - Stoudts Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +8.7%
Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:
This year's batch is a Robust Porter at 30 IBUs, brewed with five malts and Cascade hops for bittering and aroma.
Pours dark, opaque and pretty much black with rich, dark brown hues and a creamy head. Roasty and a bit bready in the nose, some chocolate too. Medium bodied, but the carbonation-induced creaminess is silky smooth and gives the palate a bit more to chew on. Slightly acrid up front; burnt edges, dry, bitter, unsweetened chocolate and faint coffee notes. Drop of caramel. Hint of hop bitterness, too--leafy and green. Bready malts, hint of sweetness, but a dry maltiness overall with some husky notes toward the finish, especially as the beer warms. Becomes slightly abrasive on the palate at the bone-dry end.
This is a very solid and different offering from many of the spiced winter seasonal offerings that currently line the shelves and tap handles.
09-20-2010 19:06:43 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.22/5 rDev +14.7%
Dark golden color. I taste banana on the initial impression, which I find unusual for the style until the malts wash on the sweet and slightly spicy taste, it does have a nice leafy sour, natural scent to please the palate and a warmth to wash over the tongue keeping everyone yearning for more. So along with the the blend of malt and hops is malt-heavy but does have a decent hops aftertaste. Excellent winter beer with enough flavor and body to make you want to drink another.
01-16-2010 05:04:21 | More by bheilman
4/5 rDev +8.7%
Past versions of this beer may have been in the Porter category, but this 2009 bottle certainly is not.
Pours a reddish copper color with brilliant clarity. Nice light tan head that still hasn't settled after 15 minutes have elapsed.
Smell is rather mellow, yet pleasant with subtle fruity aroma coupled with a malty aroma.
Taste almost as if it's brewed with some winter spices, although I'm not sure that it is. A little more on the Scottish Ale side of things, but there's also some definite hop flavor going on here.
Mouthfeel is thin-medium with moderate carbonation.
I could definitely sip on this for a cold winter evening.
Morey's Bottom Line: A very drinkable winter ale. If you're having guest over that don't like anything too crazy, this might be a good choice if you can get your hands on a sixer.
12-25-2009 01:55:40 | More by Morey
3.33/5 rDev -9.5%
Was expecting a winter warmer, ended up with a porter.
A: Poured a deep brown/black, like a Guiness without the creamy head. Minimal head on my pour.
S: Very malty with hints of sugar and chocolate. You can smell the roasted barley as well, also reminiscent of Guiness.
T: A nice blend of the malts, sugar and chocolate. The alcohol is almost completely masked. I would have like to taste it a little more. Roasts provided a hint of bitterness that hung around.
M: Had a medium carbonation, which surprised me. A little bit of hang on the tongue, but basically smooth.
D: Extremely drinkable. A decent flavor and an average ABV could lead to one having a few of these.
11-10-2009 00:55:34 | More by Infamous7100
4/5 rDev +8.7%
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Pours a dark brown, with a 1 1/2 fingers of firm sandy colored tan head. Solid looking creamy retention that coats the sides of the glass with rich lacing. The aroma is quite rich and roasty smelling. Thicker and sweet notes of cocoa powder and caramel sit on top of darker tones of coffee and roast, which crunches up the back of nose.
The taste is even toastier than the aroma was, with an even mix of roast and bitterness the whole way through. Nice balance to this too though, with the sweeter malts playing second fiddle but still nicely evening out the darker aspects of this. Big time roasty lingering finish on this that just sticks in the mouth for quite a long time. The mouthfeel is medium feeling with an overall firmness to it, yet this is still surrounded by a softier and creamier carbonation that makes this go down very easily.
Overall very solid Winter offering from Stoudt's. Full Porter flavors and a super easy drinkibility to this. I'd like to see then develop this into a year-round beer, as they need another darker offering to compliment the Fat Dog.
06-25-2009 12:25:15 | More by Kegatron
3.75/5 rDev +1.9%
Deep brown with a generous two inch head and good lacing.
The aroma of chocolate mocha with coffee and cream. Sweet aroma of vanilla and malts.
The taste starts off sweet with a malty flavor followed by chocolate,coffee and vanilla hints so it pretty much followed the nose.
The feel is medium body with a smooth and creamy character. Low carbonation with mild bitterness in the finish.
Notes: A really good beer for a cold winter night. Not too complex,but an above average beer none the less.
06-21-2009 02:37:29 | More by Lexluthor33
3.75/5 rDev +1.9%
This is the 2008 version
Pours a nice 2 finger beige head. Body is black and opaque. Head retention and lacing are pretty good
Smell is big on sweet roasted malts. Hints of coffee and chocolate are also there. Not much on the hop side
Taste is of light roasted malt and bitter chocolate. There is a slight after taste of some earthy hops. Over all the taste is a bit underwhelming, not bad but nothing special
Mouth feel is a little disappointing. The body is light but has a good head to it. Its kind of a tease of what it could be. There is a nice balance of carbonation though. Leaves a slightly dry feeling on the mouth
Drink ability is good. Not too big on alcohol so it is definitely session able. Over all solid offering from Stoudts but I'll take Fat Dog over this beer any day
06-12-2009 05:43:23 | More by angelmonster
3.75/5 rDev +1.9%
12 oz Bottle
Best by 5.19.09 (I think that I tried it right before the best buy date):
Poured a very opaque black, looked like motor oil with a very nice tan head. The beer also had a nice cascade effect.
Aroma is a heavy roasted malt and coffee, no hops to note.
Taste is heavy roasted malt and coffee and maybe a little chocolate adds a very light hint of sweetness. Didn't notice any hops, but still, solid.
Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation, smooth and fairly easy to drink. Overall a pretty solid beer.
05-27-2009 17:31:41 | More by PhillyStyle
3.95/5 rDev +7.3%
A 12 ounce bottle purchased at the Beer Stop for $1.75. Poured into a nonic pint glass. Appears a somewhat clear dark chestnut color with about two fingers of dense, lingering ecru foam. Smells and tastes of cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, a touch of dark roasted coffee beans, a bit of vanilla, with a subtle hoppy bitterness throughout. This porter is at the least, medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation for the style. This is one of a handful of seasonal's that I look forward to enjoying every year.
05-13-2009 14:33:05 | More by ClockworkOrange
3.45/5 rDev -6.3%
A-Deep brown with a large tan head. Not brilliantly clear.
S-Slightly metalic which grows as the beer warms. Espresso, dark chocolate. Some dark fruit esters.
T-Chocolate and espresso again. A little more of that metaliciness. Firmly bitter from both hops and dark malts. Nice.
M- Fairly Dry body. No alcohol heat. A good amount of bitterness but not over the top. Nice for style.
D-Mid range in alcohol and fairly dry. I could drink a couple of these in a sitting.
04-11-2009 19:53:46 | More by organicbrewer
4/5 rDev +8.7%
Pours a dark nut brown color. There's a few garnet highlights attributable to a healthy amount of light getting through. A light tan head that reaches a finger and a half deep tops it off. It receded quickly and left light, stringy lace clinging to the glass.
The nose is loaded with roasted malts. Smells delicious. There's a little chocolate malt in there to sweeten the deal, but it's mostly roasted malts. Beyond the strong malt aromas, it's tough to pick out much. The secondary elements seem to be a little lost at sea. There is a little coffee and light hops that add some character. But, I'm not picking up much beyond that. It's a nice smelling beer, but loses a little steam past the malts. It's nice, but I can't help but think about what could've been.
Stoudt's did a fine job with this winter release. I wasn't expecting much, but it is very good. The bulk of the flavor is comprised of roasted malts. But, they taste excellent. There's is a little bittersweet chocolate, but it pales in comparison. Coffee is a secondary component. It's subtle, but effective. Citrus hops give it a nice buzzy jolt. I like that addition quite a bit. It finishes a little bitter and dry. This is a tough call. I'm extremely close to awarding a "4.5" for flavor. In the end, it's just not quite that good. Damn the absence of tenths of points.
The body is on the heavier side of medium. Given the abv, it's pretty impressive. Carbonation is relatively light and well done. It's nice and smooth. A little more body and it'd be special. Drinkability is very good. Winter Ale has a really nice flavor and low abv to boot. What's not to love?
Stoudt's did a really nice job with this past year's winter ale. Generally, I've come to expect holiday spices with nearly every Christmas time release. I like what they did with this one a lot. It's a very well rounded, flavorful porter. Pretty straight forward, but impressive. The nose could use a little more muscle. But, the flavor's damn close to being special. Perhaps a slightly more pronounced coffee flavor or a bit more of a hop jolt would do the trick. In any event, this is a very nice beer as it is. I strongly recommend picking up a bottle before it's too late.
04-09-2009 02:35:58 | More by prototypic
3.85/5 rDev +4.6%
Beer pours a dark brown color with decent head over it. The nose is coffee, chocolate, and little herbal character. Nice and smooth on the palate, with a powdery dryness. A little fruitiness complements the roasted malt and cocoa flavors. An earthy finish to a good brew.
"Winter Ale" in the name fooled me at first, but this is definitely a porter.
04-08-2009 00:18:05 | More by BeardedBoffin
4/5 rDev +8.7%
The kast bottle from a mixed six my son got me for Christmas from Charleston Beer Exchange. Pours a deep mahogany brown that is almost black.The aroma has hints of cinnamon, brown sugar and sweet malt. The taste is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate and roasted malts, spice and just a faint kiss of hops. An outstanding porter.
03-30-2009 22:05:13 | More by clemtig76
4.1/5 rDev +11.4%
Dark walnut brown with coppery orange trim. Although there isn't yet enough sunlight to get an accurate reading, it looks as though the liquid is opaque. The golden sandstone colored crown has no weaknesses. It looks good, it lasts and it laces exceptionally well.
SWA smells like an American porter with no added spices. It also smells like a roasted malty, rich and hearty porter...the very best kind. In fact, I might have said 'stout' if blinded. If the nose is any indication, this should be mighty tasty beer.
Very nice. Winter Ale is chock full of flavor, which makes my taste buds do a little jig with each large gulp. Too bad it doesn't come in bombers. The secret (as always) is plenty of ingredients; especially hops. This bottle is being consumed close to the 'best by' date and the hop flavor and bitterness are still able to punch through the malts with relative ease.
Specifics include roasted coffee beans, cocoa nibs and an herbal-fruity hoppiness whose origins are a mystery. I'll go with something English (probably Goldings) and one of the American C-hops. Sneakily complex, delicious and mighty drinkable too.
Even though the mouthfeel isn't as full as it could be, it's plenty big enough given the ABV. More malt and two more percentage points would be great, but then I'm always looking to supersize good beer.
Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) is a keeper... and I mean that literally. The brewery can still change Winter Ale's style from year to year, but they need to release this American porter year-round. Especially since that's one of the glaring holes in their lineup. A new name, a new label and... presto!
03-28-2009 12:49:08 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.2/5 rDev +14.1%
Pours a deep brown with a hint of dark red. Opaque. Looks like a porter, very dark. A brief, small glimpse of head.
The smell is roasted coffee and cut tobacco. Has sweet toffee, raisin and dark cherry in the second sniff.
The taste is dueling sweet toffee-raisin and dark/bitter coffee-mocha. Porter flavor with extra cherry sweetness (maybe that's where the "winter" part comes from). Hints of a strong barleywine at the end. The sweetness is only an accent, though, and a necessary counter to the bitterness.
The feel is chalky and yet easy to sip. This is one damn good beer. But don't let the name fool you, it's a richly flavored porter.
03-01-2009 03:12:47 | More by williamherbert
3.48/5 rDev -5.4%
Pretty good looking beer on the poor. 2 fingers of tan head with ok retention. Deep brown color. No lacing to speak of.
Aroma is fruity caramel, some cinnamon and a hint of chocolate or cocoa powder.
Flavor starts with some grain flavors and caramel. Then some chocolate and a real roasted malt flavor. This give way to a lingering bitterness that seems to come from both dark roasted almost burnt malt and some hops.
The beer is medium bodied, rather smooth and very subtle carbonation.
Really very drinkable.
Nice beer, not a classic or anything. The burnt notes are almost too much...
02-25-2009 23:49:35 | More by Reagan1984
Stoudt's Winter Ale (2008-2009) from Stoudts Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.